Boston Sci gets first FDA nod in 3 years; Tysabri boosts Elan's 3Q revenues

> Finally free of a three-year moratorium on new products imposed by the FDA, Boston Scientific said it received approval for a new stent to lessen the risk of strokes. Release l Article

> Strong sales of its multiple sclerosis drug, Tysabri, lifted revenues at Ireland's Elan: Quarterly sales of the med grew to $237 million. Article

> In its third-quarter earnings statement, Bristol-Myers Squibb disclosed another $224 million charge stemming from losses on auction-rate securities caught in the credit crunch. Article

> For the first time, an influential government panel is recommending a vaccination specifically for smokers: the seasonal flu shot. Report

> Amgen hired IBM to provide information services in a deal worth $500 million; it could grow to $800 million if Amgen exercises three one-year contract extensions. Report

> Watson Laboratories filed suit against Barr Pharmaceuticals for infringement of patents listed in the Orange Book for Watson's product Oxytrol; Barr recently applied for FDA approval for a generic version. Release

> The FDA accepted Meda's application for approval for a new formulation of azelistine, an antihistamine nasal spray that would require dosing only once a day. Release

> India's Lupin Drug posted a 53 percent increase in net profit for its second quarter, which ended September 30. Article

> Johnson & Johnson submitted a New Drug Application to the FDA for carisbamate, a new investigational compound for the adjunctive treatment of partial onset seizures. Release

> BioTie Therapies has today entered into an agreement to acquire the German pharmaceutical company elbion GmbH, aiming to create a leading developer of central nervous system and inflammatory disease remedies. Report l Release

> San Diego-based biopharma Phenomix has canceled its  $86.25 million initial public offering. The Novartis-backed firm filed for an IPO back in January, but cited "market conditions" as its reason for withdrawing the IPO. Report

> Citing "tough market conditions," Lexington, MA-based Epix Pharmaceuticals said it's tightening its R&D efforts to focus on its lead programs. As part of the effort, Epix will cut its workforce by about 23 percent. The company will concentrate on its three areas: a treatment for Alzheimer's, another for COPD and its partnered preclinical programs. Report

> Exelixis' collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline has come to the end of the line with GSK deciding to bow out without licensing any of the drugs in the program. Exelixis retains the rights subject to a three percent royalty on one of the compounds, XL184, which is beginning a late-stage trial for medullary thyroid cancer. Report

> Maxygen is joining the list of biotech companies hunkering down in an effort to hold on to cash. The developer says it will cut close to a third of its payroll and reduce staff to 65 as it hunts for a partnership for a key program. Report

And Finally... Only the nose knows why blocking a roundworm's sense of smell might extend its lifespan significantly. Article